New Afghan Police Swear Allegiance

30 Aug 2013

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan – The trainees place a hand on the certificate that bears both their name and Afghanistan’s flag. They swear an oath – to never betray their people or their government, and if necessary, to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of their countrymen.

And with that, Afghanistan’s newest policemen, now qualified as "basic patrolmen,” take responsibility for protecting a nation.

"Today, you are completing your class … a step forward for you personally, and a step forward for Afghanistan. You can be proud on this day,” said Lt. Col. Bernd Loeffler, the German Police Project Team training site leader, speaking at an Aug. 20 graduation of 194 Afghan police from the 8-week Initial Police Training course given at Regional Police Training Center – North near Mazar-e-Sharif.


New Afghan basic patrolmen swear an oath to never betray their people or their government during an Initial Police Training course graduation ceremony at Regional Police Training Center  North - Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Lt. Jake Joy

Police graduations are now a common occurrence in Afghanistan, where 13 regional training centers, a national police academy and other training sources have helped add roughly 60,000 police officers to the nation’s count in the past four years. This particular graduation was attended by Afghan National Police Maj. Gen. Mashoq Ahmad Sailab, Commander, Training General Command, and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Sonny Hurtado, Deputy Commanding General – Police, NATO Training Mission Afghanistan. Together, they represent the top levels of leadership in police training for both the Afghans and the International Security Assistance Force.

The school, currently administrated by the German Police Project Team, can train 1,200 policemen at a time and will become one of the last of the regional police training centers to be completely turned over to Afghan forces by mid-2014.


U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Sonny Hurtado, Deputy Commanding General – Police, NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, presents a graduation certificate to a new basic patrolman during an Initial Police Training course graduation ceremony at Regional Police Training Center North - Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Lt. Jake Joy

For now, for 2014, and for the forseeable future, training sites like that at Mazar-e-Sharif will continue to steadily offer more Afghans a chance to don the blue uniform and cap and swear allegiance to their country.

"It is up to you to build the confidence of the Afghan people,” Loeffler said. "I’m sure you will be fully committed to your task and will serve the Afghan people in a proud and honest way.”

 
 
Story by: U.S. Navy Lt. Jake Joy
NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan Public Affairs